Canada’s Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, recently concluded her ministerial outreach to Italy, where she played a significant role in the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference and engaged in bilateral meetings with Italian counterparts and businesses. Minister Bibeau’s visit highlighted Canada’s commitment to sustainable agriculture, trade partnerships, and gender equality in the agri-food sector.
As the first woman to chair the FAO conference, Minister Bibeau made history and emphasized the importance of water resource management, the central theme of this year’s conference. Canada called upon participants to embrace innovation and collaboration with farmers and stakeholders to ensure efficient water resource utilization for increased food production worldwide. Minister Bibeau’s leadership further showcased Canada’s dedication to addressing global food security challenges.
During the last week, I had the great honor of representing Canada on the world stage by chairing the 2023 #FAOConference. Here’s a bit more about the work we accomplished➡️https://t.co/i4iK7ZaPBf pic.twitter.com/O97bJfwf5k
— Marie-Claude Bibeau (@mclaudebibeau) July 7, 2023
During her visit, Minister Bibeau held discussions with Italian agri-food stakeholders, Canadian industry associations, and Canadian professionals working in international organizations and agencies based in Rome.
She emphasized the strong economic ties and shared values between Canada and Italy, highlighting the mutually beneficial trade in Canadian durum wheat.
Furthermore, Minister Bibeau explored opportunities to enhance trade and investments between the two countries under the Canada-EU Comprehensive and Economic Free Trade Agreement (CETA).
In addition to her engagements in Italy, Minister Bibeau held bilateral meetings with counterparts from the Philippines, Australia, the Netherlands, Mexico, and Italy.
These discussions aimed to deepen and diversify agricultural trade, promote Canadian agriculture and agri-food products, foster sustainability and innovation in agricultural production, and ensure global food security.
Through such collaborations, Canada seeks to strengthen its agricultural relationships worldwide and contribute to sustainable development in the agri-food sector.
One notable event during the FAO Conference was Minister Bibeau’s roundtable discussion with women ministers and leaders in the agriculture and agri-food sector.
The participants explored strategies to advance gender equality and increase female representation in leadership roles. Discussions revolved around government investments in areas such as innovation, digital infrastructure, access to financing, training, and agricultural land, all with the aim of empowering women and driving positive change in the sector.
During his stay in Italy, the minister visited the region of Puglia.
During her visit to Puglia, Minister Bibeau toured local farming operations, Italian milling and pasta companies, and engaged in discussions to strengthen business ties and promote sustainable and innovative Canadian agriculture.
Noteworthy meetings included Andriani SpA, a firm specializing in gluten-free products, which announced the establishment of its first North American production facility in Ontario. Minister Bibeau also met with officials from Candeal Commercio, a prominent Italian miller and buyer of Canadian durum wheat, as well as pasta producer La Molisana, Mulino Caputo, and Amber Srl, all of whom are key players in the grain and flour market.
.@PastaLaMolisana est l’un des fabricants de pâtes les plus renommés d’Italie. J’ai eu l’occasion de leur rendre visite pour discuter des différentes possibilités offertes par le marché canadien 🇨🇦 ! pic.twitter.com/UkP3sdTa8i
— Marie-Claude Bibeau (@mclaudebibeau) July 5, 2023
Throughout her visit, Minister Bibeau reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to being a reliable source of safe and high-quality agriculture and agri-food products to the world.
She stressed the importance of building sustainable, resilient, and inclusive agri-food systems to address the challenges of the future. Minister Bibeau’s engagements in Italy allowed Canada to showcase its leadership in sustainable agriculture and highlight its role as a trusted trading partner, particularly in the export of durum wheat.
Reflecting on her experience, Minister Bibeau expressed her honor in chairing the FAO conference and working alongside 194 member countries to advance global food security and sustainable development goals.
She emphasized the inspirational discussions held during the roundtable of women leaders, highlighting the opportunities to amplify women’s voices and leadership in agriculture. Minister Bibeau concluded that her visit provided an excellent platform to demonstrate Canada’s reliability as a trading partner for high-quality and safe agricultural products and underscored Canada’s commitment to sustainable agriculture practices.